You research a TITAN artifact[Game]

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Decimator Decimator's picture
You research a TITAN artifact[Game]

Omnicor has acquired a presumed TITAN artifact and wants to know what it does, how it works, and how to duplicate it. You have accepted a project management committee position. Omnicor has assigned your team a fail-deadly surface station on Venus to conduct your research. The station utilizes active cooling powered by a fusion reactor, without which it will overheat and implode. It also may incorporate any additional safeguards you desire. You may construct additions to the station and have a very large budget. Omnicor will provide free backup and resleeving services to all project personnel.

The artifact itself is a cluster of hair-thin transparent fibers sprouting from a central nodule, each ending in transparent globes. The artifact as a whole is roughly spherical, about 10 centimeters across. It arrives suspended in a helium gas vortex generated by the meter-wide EM-shielded sample container.

Whoever wants to participate is considered part of the management committee. How do you want to proceed?

Zheng Zheng's picture
Re: You research a TITAN artifact[Game]

I think filling the place with guardian swarms is a good idea. Can't be too careful.

Oh and maybe an antimatter bomb. Just in case things go really crazy.


Decimator Decimator's picture
Re: You research a TITAN artifact[Game]

Zheng wrote:
I think filling the place with guardian swarms is a good idea. Can't be too careful.

What do you want these guardians to attack? All nanobots? All untagged nanomachines?

Zheng wrote:
Oh and maybe an antimatter bomb. Just in case things go really crazy.

How do you want this bomb triggered? Manually? When some condition is met?
Zheng Zheng's picture
Re: You research a TITAN artifact[Game]

I think that the guardian swarms should be programmed to attack non-tagged nanomachines. We might need some nanomachines of our own and having the guardians set on "destroy all" could be rather inconvenient.

Have to think a bit on the bomb. Manual self destruct for now. Considering alternatives.


NewAgeOfPower NewAgeOfPower's picture
Re: You research a TITAN artifact[Game]

No personnel will be allowed on this station. Alpha/Beta forks will be used instead (without their knowledge, of course) . Extensive, massively parallel, simulspace testing of researcher's forks their knowledge will employed to ensure emergency situation competency.

Staff's forks will be tested an arbitrarily large number of times under simulspace compression for:

-Unhesitant willingness to die, and/or suffer unspeakable pain, horror, and trauma to contain the threat in case of Case Black.
-Ability to differentiate from Case Orange, Case Red, and Case Black situations.
-Ability to stabilize Case Orange situations.
-Constant Case Yellow or higher alertness.

Staff whose forks exceed over a 0.045% simulspace failure will be disqualified for this project, and their backups will be sanitized till prior of their learning of Omnicor's Project Golden Fleece.

Heavily modified, Faraday-shielded warships, with hundreds to millions of Infosec Rank A or higher minds (JASON Infosec Competency 80) guarding the few exposed sensor/comm pylons on the ships will be held within 12,500 KM of the station.

All personnel monitoring the exposed, unshielded pylons will also have passed an test similar to that of the research staff. Due to TITAN Basilisk/Hack and other infection vectors, each mind guarding the Comm/Sensor pylon is required to be different. Needless to say, the research staff and their forks cannot be used for this purpose.

If Case Black containment failure occurs, the warships will employ our new weapon system derived from newly 'acquired' Starware tech, Project Excalibur.

Further details will be available to the Management team upon finalization of the Project's Personnel Requisitions.

As mind to body, so soul to spirit.
As death to the mortal man, so failure to the immortal.
Such is the price of all ambition.

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Re: You research a TITAN artifact[Game]

While I understand my colleague's call for security and the danger inherent in a possible TITAN artifact, I must believe are the benefits of this research and whether they are of greater value than the extensive security procedures called for. If we end up gaining less than we spent, we might as well save time and money and destroy the artifact now. The multiple "Heavily modified, Faraday-shielded warships" seem like a ridiculous expense for an item that is not yet proven valuable.

While I like the strict recruitment screening (especially since we can re-use the information on forked egos in future projects to save screening resources), I have doubts that we will be able to fill a full roster of security, research, and infosec personnel that both possess the abilities and cohesion to perform the research well and pass your security test. We could spend decades combing through servers of infugees to find the right people and even then we can't be sure that the simulations come close to matching whatever this device does. We may be able to improve the margins of success by psychosurgically altering any near matches for skill and security instincts into acceptable candidates.

Furthermore, the resources thrown about to set this up will not go unnoticed by outside parties that will no doubt attempt to interfere, possibly putting the project in danger. The antimatter warhead is suspicious enough without having a small fleet of warships circling overhead constantly. A modified hab surrounded by defense drones might be more subtle and easier to explain, yet possess sufficient firepower. If we say that it is an infomorph only hab we can put incoming egos in an air-gapped server, unable to notice any weapon systems on the hab.

savanah savanah's picture
I think that first we should

I think that first we should worry with ours labs and reserachers and then think about how to destroy the Hab.

The labs must be completely nanosealed, the personel should only come in contact with the artifact via drones or specially created biomorphs, these morphs must be kept inside the labs at all time and never taken off. After any interaction with the artifact they must be screened bio, nano and psic. In any alteration, they are destroyed by fire. Lots and lots of fire.


Mefis Mefis's picture
I agree with #6 that a

I agree with #6 that a deployment of such conspicuous fleet will inevitably be noticed and compromise the security of the mission.

Furthermore, I do not see why we should be conducting this experiment on Venus, which is densely habited and in which we have other critical resources.

No, the experiment should be conducted on our exoplanet [REDACTED]. The Pandora Gate will be set to block any incoming data or object from the Experiment's coordinates, except for a sterile and safe communication method that we need to review.

I agree with #5 staff approach. Simul-tested forks is the only way we can approach safety margins in Case Black scenarios, or worse psycho-trojan infiltration. However we might have to increase our threshold failure rate from 0.045% to 0.235 if we want to remain on target and commence the project within the next 2 years.

MDFification MDFification's picture
Hab Disposal

In the event of subversion of the crew/infomorphs within the hab, the hab has to be destroyed. But cost effective measures are possible.

Plant a bomb with quantum-entanglement trigger mechanisms within the hab. Do not alert the crew to the presence or existence of the bomb, and make sure absolutely no evidence (even blank spots where the bomb could conceivably have been placed) in the security recording of the local mesh.

If evidence of memetic or physical subversion of the crew is suspected, the bomb is to be detonated remotely. The operator detonating this bomb is not to be informed that they will be eliminated by a secondary measure upon confirming the station is to be destroyed to prevent subversion. This way, we can make sure the artifact can't subvert anything unless we miss the signs of subversion - but if we miss those, somebody's boned regardless.

In the future, would my job be called anthropology, transanthropology or memetic research?